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Author Topic: Am I the only one who finds the new Apps-based world boring?  (Read 14115 times)
zridling
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« on: September 29, 2010, 05:34:04 AM »

Where "software" was once fun, interesting, and useful, now it's retreating into fenced-in arenas governed by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, et al. Software has morphed into browser apps and extensions, most of which seems intent on connecting us to -- and fencing us into -- distinct corporate portals built solely for their profit by making my internet experience is limited by the products they want to sell me. And mind you, corporations do not share my views of liberty, but instead are intent on restricting what search terms I can enter, what search results I will get, what words I can use according to their almost religious Terms of Service "agreements," and on top of it all, they get to view, share, sell, or lock me out of my online data at their pleasure. As a result, it's 2010 and I'm bored (and boring, I know). I have dozens of sites I visit daily, but most of them evoke a "meh" at best.



I want knowledge,
I want intellectual liberty,
I want no restrictions on my curiosities,
I want creativity, not [endless] legal controls,
I want productivity, not merely connectivity.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 06:39:44 AM »

I have the same unsatisfied feeling, though my interpretation is somewhat different than yours.

I feel like these huge app stores are turning into marketing/advertising repositories.  Where we are all playing one huge game where the "content creators" are trying to come up with clever ways to create an advertisement that has just enough "value" to convince us to install it.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 08:28:30 AM by mouser » Logged
daddydave
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 07:13:54 AM »

I am sure you know this but Apple did not invent the word app. (why do you think they are called Apple? Surely you don't believe the story about it being someone's favorite fruit. It's because you can run apps on their computers.) People have been calling applications that run on personal computers apps at least since the 1980's and probably earlier. It sounds like your beef is more with the cloud and with the app store. There are plenty of apps for the Palm (both classic and WebOS) and PocketPC platform that don't require going through an app store and that don't store your data anywhere other than on your device and on your computer. Unfortunately I want the same things you want and it doesn't seem to be the way of the future.

OK, I am done editing now. Wink

« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 07:19:49 AM by daddydave » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 08:23:03 AM »

+1 Zane.

It's like a flock of vampires descending down to carve out their feeding grounds.
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Darwin
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 08:47:05 AM »

Why are we surprised, though? Isn't this essentially what happened with the OS and shareware in the 1980's and early 1990's? It all went from a world of choice and possibility and got distilled down into a world of standards and CONTROL.

I think that what Zaine is complaining about is really part of the bigger issue of the internet becoming more standardized and controlled and its evolution resulting from the appearance of truly handheld internet enabled devices - smartphones, iPod Touches, tablets, etc.

The internet is a victim of its own success - in 20 years we've gone from having the patience to wait for our correspondence to be delivered, read, answered, and the response delivered to expecting INSTANT replies. The same with photography, 24/7 connectivity to our friends and familiy courtesy of mobile phones, etc. No waiting in line for the latest album or book at a bricks and mortar store on the day of release, just downoload it. We're not even tethered to our desks or laps anymore because all of the can be done from the palm of your hand, anywhere., anytime.

Someone or some people are bound to step into the fray and figure out how to control this and make (more) money from it. Internet access is no longer a "money maker" and the hardware isn't as profitable as it once was, so people are looking for other ways to profit from it.
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 12:02:23 PM »

A simple solution for boredom.
Find something to do that does not involve computers, television or any other way of electronic entertainment. That way you will not get bored.

As for stores:
I really hate todays system in which the ones that work less are the ones that earn most of the profit.

Monopolized stores are the norm on portable devices. Is a high profit, low risk deal for the monopolizer. It will not surprise me if this modality come to desktop  by requiring the signing of applications by a centralized authority.

This started with the car industry, when if you bought any part for the car that where not from the manufacturer (including oil, and wipers blades), your warranty was void.

But then government made laws to end this. It was back in the days when government was government and not just a facade for corporations.

So if a law was made to require allowing competing stores on any device, this nonsense will end.

As for the Internet today.

In the beginning, I could found interesting information using telnet. Now I got go go to 99% garbage in order to find something useful. The problem is that 50% of the garbage seem useful at start.

As of instant communications:
1. We are fomenting a culture of instant gratification. Which is never good.
2. We do feel we have time to think things over before sending a response. Thereof responses tend to be emotional instead of rational.
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Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 12:24:42 PM »

rxantos - I agree with your points, particularly about instant gratification  Thmbsup
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2010, 12:38:17 PM »

So if a law was made to require allowing competing stores on any device, this nonsense will end.

The locked in 'app store' concept is new, I firmly believe it will come to an end in due course, probably out of anti-competitive or anti-monopoly laws.

In the mean time, I'll just continue to use the systems which are still free.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2010, 02:38:46 PM »

I strongly agree with mouser and zaine's top two posts.  My knee-jerk reaction is to rant about the whole thing.  However, more and more, I'm realizing that we are just in the extreme minority.

Mobile computing is the future, or actually, the present.  Desktop applications and the people who actually prefer them are fast becoming the minority.  we're seeing more and more people turn to their phones to do their computing needs.  And that makes sense.  Most people don't do too much other than browse the web, write some emails, text, and play a few simple games.  I frequently hear about people who first get an iphone and then they say things like, "I don't even use my computer anymore."  Their needs are met by the simple phone, and in a way they prefer over the "complicated" desktop pc's.

That's a little depressing to me because I'm totally desktop guy.  But there's nothing we can do.  It's just going to get worse, and we are going to continue to be in the minority.  One thing I take heart in is that with the focus moving towards "apps" and mobile computing, the desktop market is being largely ignored by both the big players and small time developers.  So for any budding entrepreneurs out there, there are going to be lots of opportunities to address all the issues that are being ignored.  So while I largely agree with rxantos on all of his points, I do still believe that this movement will lead to more opportunities for those interested.  Somebody is going to innovate something in a good way for us, and we will probably be very thankful for it.  I know I will be.
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 03:46:00 PM »

There are many types of computer user, but there are two key ones for this issue; the content producer and the content consumer. The producers will always need a laptop or desktop, you really can't even write blog posts properly on an iPad, never mind a smart phone. Consumers only need internet and a touchscreen. The new 'app' revolution is aimed at the consumers, and that makes perfect sense, the vast vast vast majority of people are consumers only.

But the thing is, fortunately, I haven't yet seen the world forget about the producers. So long as the tools we need continue to be made, we'll continue to buy them, and the market for them will remain I believe. Sure we don't get 100% of the IT giants attention any more, but we don't need it, and it would be arrogant to think we even deserve it. The market has got more varied, that's all.
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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2010, 06:25:15 PM »

A simple solution for boredom.
Find something to do that does not involve computers, television or any other way of electronic entertainment. That way you will not get bored.

Indeed. I have many other interests that take me away from the computer, but what is becoming boring (for me) is that content is being tunneled toward "services" through ubiquitous ads. If AdBlock didn't exist, I'd go insane.

As of instant communications:
1. We are fomenting a culture of instant gratification. Which is never good.
2. We do feel we have time to think things over before sending a response. Thereof responses tend to be emotional instead of rational.

That's a keen observation.

I think that what Zaine is complaining about is really part of the bigger issue of the internet becoming more standardized and controlled and its evolution resulting from the appearance of truly handheld internet enabled devices - smartphones, iPod Touches, tablets, etc

Yea, one big reason I don't care so much for mobile computing is that I could spend as much on a mobile data bill in one month than I spend in an entire year for internet access on my desktop! Standards are fine as long as they are open standards, the kind that made it possible for the internet to flourish. But what corporations (and many governments) are doing when they fight against basic data privacy measures, support ACTA, and against the ability to take my data and business elsewhere without losing it, my big wondrous online world suddenly gets a lot smaller, more legalistic, overwhelmed by ads, and locked in by insane TOS agreements at every turn.
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 06:37:49 PM »

There are many types of computer user, but there are two key ones for this issue; the content producer and the content consumer. The producers will always need a laptop or desktop, you really can't even write blog posts properly on an iPad, never mind a smart phone. Consumers only need internet and a touchscreen. The new 'app' revolution is aimed at the consumers, and that makes perfect sense, the vast vast vast majority of people are consumers only.

this is it in a nutshell - the idea that appliances like ipads or 'smart' phones provide anything like portable computing is patently ridiculous. 

These things are largely gimick, and they are only successful where the end user doesn't require a portable computing solution.

Sending emails, (inane) tweets, playing (lame) games, watching video. listening to music, reading documents, browsing, or updating facebook do not (IMHO) qualify as computing - try running a big spreadsheet or database, or drafting a substantial document, or coding and see how far you get (or how long your patience holds out)

You could probably draw a parallel with consoles - I've never been a fan, but I know several ordinary households that have versions of ALL the available platforms, apparently because each offers something the others don't (though a single PC could provide all of them and then some...)
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Darwin
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 06:44:35 PM »

What I find distrubing is that kids in middle school are able to convince their parents (or is it marketing that does this?) that a smartphone or an iPod Touch is an "essential". For a 14 year old? WTF? I guess this has been going on for millenia...
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 06:47:07 PM »

It's a status symbol, just as driving a car in your senior year was a status symbol.
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 06:59:05 PM »

Yeah, that's pretty much what I had concluded as well. But good grief! What a waste of resources (to manufacture the devices), money to first buy and then/or to pay for the monthly data plan and, in short what a waste of TIME.

Up here in Canada we've actually seen a debate over whether or not smartphones have a role to play in the classroom! This from a provincial premier (Ontario).

We simply can't keep up this pace of conspicuous consumption and ostentatious display.

Ridiculous.
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 07:15:22 PM »

I will buy my daughter a REGULAR cell phone. I do not care what her friends say. When she is working and can pay for the data plan, which I guarantee in 10 years will cost the same as it does now, and the added cost of having the device, she can have one.
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 07:49:02 PM »

Boring? Yes they are, however the individuals who create these Apps used all of the 5 criteria listed, so for them I don't think it was boring.

Quote
I want knowledge,
I want intellectual liberty,
I want no restrictions on my curiosities,
I want creativity, not [endless] legal controls,
I want productivity, not merely connectivity.

Productivity" The essence on what I look for in applications, products and websites, which is why I allow myself to subscribe to proprietary products like iPhone or MacBook because on those, I find I am reasonably productive. 

Productivity vs. Creativity Is the human race called to be creative and not productive? You can be productive and mind mind-numbing bored at the same time, sadly this is the existence many sould face because their creativity is curtailed.  I feel that productivity in the wrong hands lends itself to be entrapment or ti control of others, at least in the hands of the companies represented in icons of the lead image.  ie. "the more money or subscribers they have the more they can influence / control others", the less they want others to be able to control themselves of move out of reach, or exercise liberties and freedoms. 

Creativity: is what defines us all, what you guys appear to do very well: The software and donation software you write is evidence of that. Problem is that the corporations that we refer to are slowly and surely erode away the creativity of man, with restrictions, licenses, limitations and the absence of an export button. We are no longer taught at school to be creative, we are taught to be productive, even if that productivity is mind numbing and thoughtless.  Resulting in boredom.

Restrictions: - Yep. Corporations are great at that, take for example Oracle suing Google because Android uses Java, or for example Microsoft hounding and pursuing Linux from pillar to post, If this is what they do to each other, what would they do to us given half a chance. 

Liberty: Thankfully there are traces of that particularly in open source, restoring our rights and freedoms, but then we run this liberty software on Window or Mac?   What are we thinking?

Knowledge:  I can have knowledge but what is it without with liberty, creativity, productivity?

- o0o -   

Enter an Open Source Hand Held Console without an App Store http://www.openpandora.org  If Desktop vs. Cloud and Apps Stores are the source to our boredom then here is possible solution to those App Store Blues.

Quote
http://www.openpandora.org   "But the most interesting part is probably that it isn't designed by a large company, it was designed by the suggestions and requests of hundreds of people on the gp32x forums. Over several months those suggestions were fine tuned in to what you see today, a completely new open source handheld."

And if you have further doubts please have a look at this video of the first completely open sourced hand-held console and what it can do.

http://www.youtube-nocook...gon1717#p/u/8/qPyzC1NFkJE

You may already be aware of this although I did a quick search and there was no reference to the Open Pandora console on here, so if you have not already heard of this console I think you guys will love it.   

Thanks Roland.
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 10:30:31 PM »

That Open Pandora gadget looks pretty cool.

When it comes to being an "open platform", I think the most important thing is that it is possible to participate in the platform with no obstacles, i.e. access to the platform being open. I think it's less important that the platform itself be open. Desktop operating systems are like this. Mobile platforms are not. Console platforms are not.

I'm trying to draw the distinction between doing something "with" the platform and doing something "to" the platform.

Still, having the "to" option is nice for those that want to really go all the way.
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 03:50:47 AM »

Well if more people were thinking the same then there would be more viable alternatives. Clearly more people read a book or listen to music or play games than draw up databases and write long essays.  tongue All this doesn't stop you doing that though, just not on those devices.
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 10:30:47 AM »

I actually like the concept of Apps, for 2 reasons:
1. They tend to satisfy a specific need.
2. They don't tend to be bloated with unneeded functionality.

As far as the method of consumption, I'm rather bleh to the whole thing.
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2010, 09:19:59 PM »

My phone has replaced my:
- Personal library, as books in death tree format takes space and weight a ton.
- GPS. No need for another one.
- Email client.
- Calculator.
- Personal Information Management.
- Quick web searcher.
- Quick dictionary.
- Personal finance tracking.
- Read the news.
- Landline.

Things that I wish it had:
- An Infrared interface, so I could use it as a universal remote.
- A fingerprint sensor, so that when combined with a password, could be used for banking.

Things that will not replace:
- Anything meant for content creation.
- Games and movies. ( I really like big screens for this).
- Anything meant for visually analyzing huge amounts data.

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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2010, 08:40:14 PM »

Wow, how soon we forget.

I don't suppose anyone remembers, oh, five years ago or so, when you couldn't even RUN apps on your phone? If it came with anything on it at all, it was completely locked down by the carrier. You could download some games (lame, pricey ones) or if you had the patience and the (sometimes obscure) equipment, you could hack in and do some very limited customization.

As far as I can see, the app stores have been a real boon for democratization. Distribution was always a tough nut to crack for developers. Anyone who thinks the policies of the app stores are restrictive never tried to get their program on the shelves at Staples or CompUSA.

The new apps may seem "boring" but don't forget where we are on the adoption curve! These technologies are only a few years old. How long did it take for the "interesting" apps to show up on desktop platforms? Does anyone remember an "interesting" app for Windows 2.0? Or even 3.0?
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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2010, 11:10:20 PM »

It wasn't so grim 5 years ago, developers have been able to write Java apps for phones for close to, but probably not quite, the last 10 or so. PDAs with OSes you could program for openly were around long before that. My gripe with the 'app store' concept is that there's only one store, it's controlled by one authority, and it's the only way to install software on your device. If we had a choice of different stores, I'd think the whole idea of them is fantastic.
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2010, 11:53:36 PM »

+ 1 EĆ³in.

The lock-down and monopolization are the problems.

This is the exact same problem as DVDs and buying DRM'd music/videos. They're broken to start. Very broken.

The new "app store" concept is also broken.

And 30% commission to the "app store"? F**k-off. They bring no value at all to the table. They bring negative value. Let's see, I give you 30% of my sales so that I can be your bitch that you screw whenever you want, dump whenever you want, and bury under a mountain of your other bitches so that nobody finds me... Yeah. Right. 30% for the privilege of getting screwed. Nice.

Grrr...

It's pure greed. Nothing more. There are no other factors involved. And if there were other factors, they would only be excuses trying to hide GREED.

Did I already say Grrr?
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« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2010, 11:54:55 PM »

Quoting Steve Jobs:

Quote
...to help our [3rd party] developers survive...

Survive. That's what he thinks. He has nothing but contempt for everyone.
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